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Louis “Osh-pih-kah-kahn" Godon III.

(1836-1912)

Louis Godon was born circa 1836 at St. Agathe, the son of Louise Godon II and
Elizabeth Isaac. He was born at the Red River Settlement in 1836 where his family had
moved after the closure of the Pembina Mission in 1821. His family appears in the Red
River Census for the years 1838, 1840 and 1843.
GODON, Louis

#214, Louis Godon, age _, Native, Catholic, 1 married man,


1 married woman, 1 son (-16), 3 total inhabitants, 1 house, 1
stable, 2 mares, 1 ox, 1 bull, 2 cows, 3 calves, 4 pigs, 1 cart, 2
acres. (1838 E.5/9) page 13

#229, Louis Godon, age _, Native, Catholic, 1 married man,


1 married woman, 2 sons (-16), 4 total inhabitants, 1 house, 1
stable, 1 horse, 1 mare, 3 oxen, 1 bull, 2 carts, 2 acres. (1840
E.5/10) page 13

#207, Louis Godin, age _, Ruperts Land, Catholic, 1 married


man, 1 married woman, 2 sons (-16), 1 daughter (+15), 1
daughter (-15), 6 total inhabitants, 1 house, 1 stable, 1 horse, 2
mares, 2 oxen, 1 pig, 2 carts, 1 canoe, 2 acres. (1843 E.5/11)
page 9

His father Louison Godon II (Metis, French-Ojibway), and mother, Elizabeth Isaac
(Métisse)1 had attended the Saint Boniface Mission School. His grandfather, Louis Godon
I, was a voyageur with Alexander Henry and the North West Company at Pembina and at
Rat Portage before the North West Company merged with the Hudson’s Bay Company.
He had come with Alexander Henry from La Pointe on Lake Superior. Louis had married
“according to the custom of the country” Louise, a Nakota (Assiniboine) woman.

Louison Godon I was one of the LaPoint Band Half-Breeds who signed the second Treaty
of Fond du Lac in 1847. The second treaty of Fond du Lac was signed by Issac A.
Verplank and Henry Mower Rice for the United States and representatives of the Ojibwe
of Lake Superior and the Mississippi on August 2, 1847 and proclaimed on April 7, 1848.
This treaty ceded lands in a triangular area west of the Mississippi River, bounded by the
Prairie du Chien Line, Mississippi river, Crow Wing River and Long Prairie River.

Signing for the La Pointe Band Half-Breeds were:

Chief: Vincent Roy2

1
Elizabeth was the daughter of Martin Isaac and Magdeleine Roy.
2
Vincent Roy II: (1795 - 1872) Vincent married Lizette (1805-1883) and their children were: John (1821-?)
(m. Josette), Vincent III (1825-1896) (m. Elizabeth-Lizette Cournoyer - daughter of V.Cournoyer), Charles
(1845-?) (m. Mary) & Lewis (1847-?) (m. Caroline). Vincent lived in St.Croix Co. in 1842 and Crow
Wing/Long Prairie Dist. in 1849. Vincent Roy Sr. traded at Thief & Red Lake River's (Red Lake post) area
for J. Sayer & Co. from 1794 to 1797. He establish at post on the Upper Red River (of the North) in
October of 1797. He continued his employ with J. Sayer & Co. (Fond du Lac District) until about 1800,
after which he was employed in the same department for the North West Co. (Hugh McGillis). In 1817
Warrior: Jean-Baptise Cadotte
Second Chief: Lemo Sayer3
Warrior: Jean-Baptise Roy4
Michel Bas-he-na
Louison Godin
John Sayer5

Chief: Louison Corbin6

The Godon family returned to Pembina in the 1840s when Rolette and Kittson
established American Fur Company posts and Father Belcourt had also returned as a
missionary under the Diocese of Dubuque in 1847, and later under the Diocese of St.
Paul. The Godon family members in 1850 were Louis, Joseph, Marguerite, Catherine,
Gilbert and David. Louis was then 14 and no doubt learned to hunt and trap in the
Pembina or “Hair” Hills as they were called. Louis III was a Metis hunter and trapper
who went to the Turtle Mountains to settle in the late 1880s. When the Pembina Mission
was moved to St. Joseph (now Walhalla) because of flooding, his mother and father had
also moved their family.

Louis III married Lisette Grandbois (1845-1866) on May 5, 1861. Two daughters,
Ellen and Justine were born to this marriage. Lisette died in 1866.

In 1867, Louis III remarried, to Marie LaRocque (1846-1897). She was the daughter
of Joseph LaRocque and Sophia Marchand of Olga in Cavalier County. Joseph, the Metis
son of a trader, was the village blacksmith and manufactured sleighs, buggies and
wagons.

Vincent retired from the North West Co., driving 13 head of horses to the mouth of the Little Fork River
and selling them to the NWC post in the area. He then settled on a farm at the mouth of that river.
3
Might be Henry R. Sayer (b. 1784), a son of John Sayer and Obemauunoqua (Marguerite), the daughter
Mamongazida (Big Foot) an Ojibway.
4
Jean Baptiste Roi was hired in 1795 as a winterer in Charles Gauthier’s Chippewa River Department.
Jean Baptiste Roy was with the NWC at Fond du Lac, 1815-16, and again after 1818. Jean Baptiste Roy b-
1783 married Marguerite (Chippewa) b-1788.
5
John Charles Sayer (b. 1780) was the son of John Sayer a North West Company partner who traded in the
west Lake Superior area. His mother was Obemauunoqua (Marguerite), the daughter Mamongazida (Big
Foot) an Ojibway. The United States government made a treaty with the Ojibway of the Fond du Lac
region in 1826. It is known as Treaty #133 -Treaty of Fond du Lac of Lake Superior with the Chippewa,
August 5, 1826.Article #4 was written to provide for the Metis members of the tribe and the names of those
implicated are listed at the end. The list mentions Obemau unoqua and two of her children:
•To Henry Sayer and John Sayer, sons of Obemau unoqua, each one section.
Around 1802 it is said that John Charles Sayer was moved by the NWC to Folle Avoine Dept. to "curb the
Generosity of Joseph Reaume and Joseph LaPrairie" His Dad (John Sr.) would only be about 12 miles
away, building a post at Snake River (1804-05 re his SR Journal), so he could keep an eye on things. By
1803, John Charles had an Ojibway wife named Marie or Marguerite, and his first child, Pierre Guillaume
Sayer was born around that time.
6
Louis Corbin the son of Jean Baptiste Corbin (Commandant of the NWC, Lac Coutereille Department)
was married to the daughter of Michel Cadotte and Madeline (Equaysayway/Traveling Woman, LaPointe
village Chief White Crane's daughter). His children later received Half-Breed Scrip under the 1854
Chippewa Treaty.
The Godon family moved to Belcourt in the late 1880s, they had 10 children born at
Pembina and Olga N.D.

Children of Louis Godon and Lizette Grandbois:

 Justine, born February 7, 1862 at Pembina, married Jean Baptiste Bruce.


 Louis, born February 21, 1863 at Pembina.
 Helene, born May 12, 1864, married William Gosselin the son of augustion
Gosselin and Angelique Zastre.

Children of Louis Godon and Marie Larocque:

 Virginie Rosalie, born September 13, 1868 at Pembina, married Jean Baptiste
Plante in 188 then married a Laframboise before 1938. She died in 1948 at St.
Paul.
 Louis Philippe, born July 14, 1871 at Pembina, married Rosalie ?
 Sophie, born February 27, 1873 at Pembina.
 Moses, born September 8, 1873, married Lucie Gardner.
 Edouard, born April 26, 1875 at Pembina.
 Michel Moise, born February 1, 1878 at Pembina.
 Jean, born March 12, 1883 at Olga, died as an infant in 1883.
 Veronique, born May 6, 1884, married William John Thomas.
 Marie Clara, born May 11, 1886 at Olga, died the next day.

Reference:
St. Ann’s Centennial Committee, St. Ann’s Centennial 1885-1985. Belcourt, North Dakota: St. Ann’s
Centennial Committee, 1985: 354-355.

Compiled by Lawrence Barkwell


Coordinator of Metis Heritage and History Research
Louis Riel Institute